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Institutional Data

Institutional Research Graphic from Tableau


OIPE compiles a number of useful data resources that are of use to both academic and administrative offices on campus. 

If you have any questions or data needs please contact the Office of Institutional Planning & Effectiveness by phone at 828.227.7239, or email

Don't see the data you need? Request additional data through the OIPE Data Request

The census report includes student data regarding applications, enrollment, retention, demographics, credit hours and quality indicators/standardized test scores.  The report is generated on the 10th day of classes each fall and spring term.  Data is subject to change pending final approval from the UNC Systems Office.


The Common Data Set provides core institutional data and is published annually towards the end of the fall term (with some content being updated during the spring).

View the current Common Data Sets and archives

Fact Books provide a summary of information that can be utilized by internal and external constituents. They are designed to serve as a comprehensive, main reference source to obtain various institutional data. Fact Books are published annually during the fall term.

current fact book and browse archives

CATalytics is designed to provide key personnel access to pertinent operational and official reports for student and financial information.  Data used to create these reports originate from WCU's data warehouse, ERP system (Banner), and OIPE records.  The simplified and concise presentation of these reports make data consumption a task of ease and fosters an environment for data-driven decision making. 

CATalytics is a self-service reporting tool focused on measuring WCU's key instructional metrics such as student enrollment, degree conferrals, and course offerings.  It provides summary dashboard reports with custom dynamic filtering, drill down analysis capabilities, and instant report display conversion.

If you are a faculty/staff member of WCU and would like to request access to CATalytics, please contact Larry Hammer in the Registrar's Office at ext. 7216 or email

The Catalytics site can be accessed through MyCat or via the following link:


The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports provide information pertaining to student characteristics, services, enrollment, degrees conferred, employees and finances. These reports are published annually in various stages during the fall and spring terms.


Student Body Profiles provide summary data pertaining to student enrollment, demographics, and quality indicators (such as standardized test scores).  These reports are generated each fall term. 


Frequently Asked Questions

For WCU users, requesting data or information can be accomplished utilizing the data request form on the CATalytics site. Your request will be reviewed, and assigned to a member of the Data and Analytics Team.  For individuals not affiliated with WCU, University Policy 74 (Records Requests) governs data requests.  Public records requests, once approved by WCU Legal Counsel, are generally filled by the OIPE.

Generally, the OIPE fills data requests requiring official university data.  Requests for operational data most often are handled by the functional office responsible for a particular type of data.  For example, the alumni office is the best source of alumni data, and the financial aid office is the best source of information on student financial aid.  WCU users are encouraged to visit CATalytics, which contains the broadest set of official and operational data dashboards. 

Public reports and data dashboards are accessible via the OIPE website. Many additional data dashboards are available to WCU users via CATalytics. The UNC System maintains data dashboards for all UNC institutions at UNC Insight. A variety of operational data reports are accessible via the Banner Report Portal.

Generally, reports and dashboards produced by the OIPE are based on data submitted each term to the UNC system office.  Updates are not made until after the data have been approved by the system office.  The timing of updates depends on the type of data in the report.  For example, student enrollment for a specific term can be updated approximately 6 weeks into the term; degree conferrals at the end of a term can be updated approximately 6 weeks after the end of a term.

The WCU Data and Analytics team makes use of Data Cookbook for data definitions. Establishing data definitions is a work in progress. Data Cookbook access is restricted to WCU users only. If you are unable to locate a definition, please contact us.

WCU maintains a list of peer institutions which is periodically updated. For the current list, please see OIPE's Institutional Peers and UNC System Peers page. 

The term “official data,” refers to university data that are used for state and/or federal reporting. Data that are used for state and/or federal reporting are extracted at specific times in a term or year (e.g., beginning of term, census day, end of term) and represent a “frozen snapshot” of that information for that specific point in time.

Official data are then used whenever possible to fill data requests, complete surveys, and create reports. There are times when operational (“live”) data are more appropriate for a specific purpose but reports generated using these data should not be expected to contain numbers matching those officially reported.

“Census” day is a date set by a university on which it takes a “snapshot” of all students’ enrollment which becomes the “official enrollment” that is used for both state and federal reporting.  There is a census day for each term.  For both Fall and Spring semesters, census day is the tenth class day.  The majority of OIPE-produced reports and data views are based on census data.

When numbers for the same variable differ, it is generally because the variables are not actually the same after all.  That is, any one variable can be defined in a number of ways and the number obtained for that variable will depend upon the definition used.  As an example, let’s say that someone requests data on the number of majors in an academic program.  “Number of majors” could include all declared majors, only declared majors who are juniors and seniors, or declared plus intended majors.  Each of these definitions would result in a different count.

Yes, University Policy 97 (Data Security and Stewardship) governs university data handling and storage.  If you are uncertain on how to handle certain data, please contact us.

University Policy 51 (Conducting Surveys) governs surveying at WCU. Additionally, survey researchers should consult WCU’s Human Subject Research information when planning a survey project. 

Conducting surveys at WCU requires survey registration in advance. Questions about conducting surveying can be directed to the OIPE.

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